A pair of local runners were in tough Saturday at the 41st IAAF World Cross Country Running Championships in Guiyang, China. Grande Prairie’s Mirelle Martens and Toms Lake’s Fiona Benson both toed the line representing Team Canada at “the toughest race on the planet.”
Martens started strong, running in the top 50 at the end of the first of three 2 km laps, but she faded badly on the final circuit, eventually placing 94th in the Junior Women’s 6 km race.
Benson’s race in the Senior Women’s 8 km event followed a similar pattern. However, she fared slightly better than Martens, finishing 68th overall. Both runners were fifth amongst the Canadian runners in their respective races.
Runners from Ethiopia and Kenya dominated the championships sweeping all of the individual and team gold and silver medals.